How to Remove “Unity” and Install Cinnamon and Mate Desktop in Ubuntu

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Ravi Saive

I am Ravi Saive, creator of TecMint. A Computer Geek and Linux Guru who loves to share tricks and tips on Internet. Most Of My Servers runs on Open Source Platform called Linux. Follow Me: Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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28 Responses

  1. ikomrad says:

    What if you did a headless ( server ) install of Ubuntu initially and want to add Cinnamon and whatever is required to start the GUI? I’ve installed Cinnamon on Ubuntu 16.04 but my system still boots to the console.

    startx is not installed, I can install it but that might only be part of the puzzle. Do you know what are the minimum packages I need to install to get the Cinnamon desktop to run on boot up?

    • Ravi Saive says:


      The easy way to install any Desktop on Ubuntu Server is using tasksel command as shown.

      $ sudo apt install tasksel
      $ sudo tasksel
      $ sudo tasksel install ubuntu-desktop

      But if you want to install Cinnamon Destop on Ubuntu using standard commands, you can use following PPA to install cinnamon as shown.

      $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:embrosyn/cinnamon
      $ sudo apt-get update
      $ sudo apt-get install cinnamon
      • ikomrad says:

        I installed Cinnanmon DM, but it would not start.

        After I installed it, I ran:

        # startx 

        I got an error saying startx was not installed, but install xinit included it.

        So I installed Xinit and the GUI still did not start. Then I did 2 more things:

        # systemctl set-default 
        # reboot

        It didn’t start the GUI, instead it started the console again.

        I ended up erasing the system and installing the Ubuntu desktop ISO distribution. That brought up the GUI . From there I was able to install Cinnamon DM and select it as my default .

        It would be nice to have a more minimal install as this is for a virtual machine running on my Macbook. But I haven’t found instructions that worked.

  2. Edward G. says:

    I only have one issue with installing Cinnamon (Ubuntu 16.04) I have everything set the way I want, but when I leave the computer for an extended period of time? I come back and login…after I login?…it brings up the OLD Unity login screen…and I have to ling again.

    How do i get rid of ALL of Unity for GOOD!? I followed the “Unity purge” command above and received no errors. Anyone have any idea how I can prevent having to login twice with this?


  3. Julien says:

    Hello Ravi,

    I booted Ubuntu kylin onto my mother’s computer hp mini notebook Intel Atom because win7 basic was super slow. But everything is Chinese and the keyboard is a mess. I’m French It is working but it is impossible to find my way around.

    What is the easiest way to change the desktop? A terminal solution would be good because i don’t have to brise the Chinese folders. My initial goal was to set up a light system. Thank you very much. I found your name on a tutorial on removing unity for mate or Cinnamon. By the way I’m a newbie. Julien

  4. ns says:

    sudo apt-get install cinnamon

    Did not work for me

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    cinnamon : Depends: cinnamon-screensaver (>= 3.0.0) but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: gir1.2-xapp-1.0 but it is not installable
    Recommends: gnome-themes-standard but it is not going to be installed
    Recommends: cinnamon-bluetooth but it is not installable
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

  5. brazz says:


    I had installed Cinnamon Desktop on my beta Ubuntu Gnome Yaketty 16.10, and it worked best in the world! But in recent days, following an update, he reported it required gir1.2-xApp-1.0 and so I have more cinnamon desktop.

    I even uninstalled completely Cinnamon and reinstalled from the beginning but this is identical. It seems that at present it is impossible to install Cinnamon on the 16.10 version of Ubuntu.

    How and when this will be corrected in the review ?


  6. Troy says:

    Can I install the mate first and then remove unity?

  7. cecilia says:

    I have ubuntu 16.04 and installed Cinnamon about a month or 2 ago. It looks fine but what is this ?
    The setting GUI is on the right side of this image while the icon and menu placement is on the other side (so you can hopefully recognize this program).

    It seems to be interfering with my ability to log in automatically
    At this point I have to log into Chrome everytime I boot up.

    How can I get rid of this program?

  8. imran says:

    It has corrupt my running Ubuntu 16.06 graphics, somehow i recovered but even after removing the packages its still showing on login shell.
    Tecmint kindly test and then upload

    • Ravi Saive says:


      Sorry for trouble, but trust me I’ve personally tested 4-5 times, before publishing the article, for me all went fine without any trouble..

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